The Big Bash League is back in Sydney on Thursday when the Sydney Sixers look to enhance their playoff hopes when they host a Hobart Hurricanes side for whom postseason activity hopes are disappearing fast.
The Sydney Sixers head into this contest in second place in the table and are looking good to have the easiest possible path to the final while the Hurricanes need to averse their slump quickly if they are to extend their campaign.
The Sydney Sixers had a five match winning streak halted by the Melbourne Stars last time out so they will be looking to get back on the horse here so to speak. They won’t have needed too long to reflect on that loss because it won’t have been too hard to work out that their bowling was terrible, admittedly in the face of a brilliant innings from Marcus Stoinis. They can be excused one bad performance with the ball but won’t want another.
The onus might be on their batsmen a little here as they might want to right a wrong. When these two sides met in the reverse fixture the Sixers looked to be cruising to victory only to suffer the mother of all collapses. If they can bat properly for the full 20 overs here they will have proved a point to themselves if nothing else, and that sort of thing can lift a side when the going gets tough later in the tournament.
The Hobart Hurricanes haven’t really got going at any stage in the competition and now due to a combination of factors they have hit a wall and you really fear for them for the remainder of the tournament. They will get D’Arcy Short back once he is finished in India but it is with the ball that they look extremely short and they are not due to get any of their bowlers back between now and the end of the regular campaign.
That means their best hope of success from here on in is to be chasing and hope the batsmen that remain catch fire and see off a side. The pressure will gradually release from the team when qualifying becomes impossible and we saw what effect that can have in the Melbourne Renegades match on Wednesday, but whichever way you look at it, things are pretty bleak down in Tasmania at present it must be said.
Henry Thornton comes into the Sydney Sixers squad for this match. His registration comes in place of Josh Hazlewood who is away with Australia again. There is still no sign of Nathan Lyon getting a game for the Sixers.
The Hobart Hurricanes have also made one change to their ranks with Mac Wright coming in for Simon Milenko. The latter has had little impact in recent matches and has paid the price. D’Arcy Short is still with Australia while Riley Meredith and James Faulkner remain out.
I expect the Sydney Sixers to win this. I kind of thought a Melbourne Renegades win was coming on Wednesday because they just hadn’t had the big moments go their way, but that isn’t what is holding the Hobart Hurricanes back. That has been their bowlers or lack of them with injuries and nothing is going to change in that regard here. The problem is the Sixers are 8/13 to win this and that goes shorter than the price range I like to get involved in for T20 cricket.
Instead I will go at the runs line which I think is a little on the high side at 305.5. Hobart have been shot out for 126/9 and 98 in two of their last three matches and even the one in between they only scored 162 so they are not batting well at all. I’m expecting the Sixers bowlers to be bang on it here to make up for their poor showing last time out. Sydney Sixers still don’t have the longest batting line up themselves and there is enough spin in this Hurricanes attack to keep things quiet on this pitch. In the reverse match between these two 129/9 played 104 and I’m not expecting another 70 runs here.
VOID – Back Under 305.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway